Rian and his eagerness for a challenge

Rian Balachandran has been ahead of the math game for years. When he first started at the new JEI Learning Center in Allentown two years ago, he had just finished the first grade and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t that motivated in math. Then, he took our scientific diagnostic test for JEI Math and learned the reason: his skills actually placed him in the middle of second-grade math.

“I grew more interested in math because of JEI Math,” Rian told JEI Learning Center when we reached out for an interview. He explained:

“I learn very basic stuff in school, so JEI helps me by challenging me. For every school grade I enter, I will always be about two grades ahead [in math]. In the fifth grade, I’ll be learning seventh grade math. I like it like that. This makes me more interested in math and in harder problems.”  

His JEI Instructors helped by encouraging him and explaining the concepts as many times as he needed to understand and master them before moving on to the next ones. Enrolling in JEI Math boosted his enjoyment of the subject as he learned things at his own advanced pace. He also appreciated the spiral structure of our workbooks, explaining, “I feel that I understand one workbook before I move onto the next workbook. If I don’t, I know I have to go over it. When I move on from each one, I feel satisfied and good about it.”  

Each new workbook would provide a new challenge for him, as well, keeping him motivated and engaged. He said, “I’m not much of a competitive person, but I love to be challenged. That’s one of my favorite things. I love to be challenged.” His mother, Mrs. Pokhrel, also delighted in seeing her son challenging himself through our math program:

“It’s definitely helped him. He gets bored if he’s not challenged. We worried there wasn’t enough to keep him motivated, but now we make sure he’s challenged and not bored by talking to the Director [and instructors] to see if they can help him. They have been very open about how he’s doing and sharing feedback. He’s been motivated with his work, and we have seen a lot of improvements in his math skills after he started going to JEI.”  

His love for challenges is why he enjoys the annual Math Olympiad and pursuing extracurricular activities like blogging and coding. He started his blog, Rian’s Pencil Paper, after he received a writing prompt about gratitude at school. A few months later, he decided to try JEI English as he was doing well in math but could use improvement in English. His instructor helped him with the blog, advising him on other types of posts he could write, such as book reviews.  

For coding in particular, he was excited about how he could use his new math skills to work on the degrees and pixels. He talked about how he created a game of Tic-Tac-Toe through coding, using all that he learned in JEI Math, such as 90 degrees right is 270 degrees left. Precision is key as he explains, “If you change it by one degree, it will all spin a little bit.”  

Mrs. Pokhrel talked about witnessing the positive effects of JEI Math on his overall cognitive ability:

“Like he said, even for coding he can connect the dots [because of JEI Math]. You need to have the basic concepts right, and most of the coding at the end of the day comes down to math. It’s a lot of math problems and problem-solving. This is much more than him just sitting and answering questions. It brings out a lot of his analytical skills, so we have been very happy.”

Mrs. Pokhrel added that Rian’s commitment is not only to his studies but also to his extracurriculars like karate. He is now a black-belt and has been training for nearly four years. Regarding all that he has on his plate, she said, “He really likes going to JEI. We talked about removing some things from his schedule, and he said he wanted to continue going to JEI.”

As he continues learning with us, Rian is excited for a new school year coming up:

“JEI makes me more confident in school because I learned the stuff [already at] JEI. Usually I try my best and remember the concepts from JEI, then I can actually believe in myself, get good grades, and pass the tests.”

For the future, Rian will continue work on his personal projects, such as writing new content for his blog, and practicing karate, all on top of his rigorous studies! With his love for challenges and passion projects, it sounds like he’s already on the path to long-term success with his strong grasp on lifelong learning.  

If you are also interested in setting your child on the path to success, call us today at (877) JEI-Math to speak with an expert in education about our programs like JEI Math and JEI English! You can also find a center near you today to schedule a diagnostic test. Check what level your child is at and how they can advance to the next level with Rian, AliciaSahana, and hundreds of other JEI students!